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Volume 23 (2) - 2000

CIOACA A. & DINU M.

The impact of exploiting natural subsoil resources on the Subcarpathian relief (Romania)

Pages 131-137

Abstract

This hilly unit, which makes the transition from the mountain to the platform regions of Romania, is particularly well-individualised between the Moldova and the Motru valleys. The Subcarpathian region, formed at the external margin of the Carpathian geosyncline, is the youngest mountain unit in Romania. This «new Carpathian wave» represents one more trait that distinguishes the Carpathians from the other sectors of the Alpine – Himalayan system. The string of hills and depressions, standing more or less parallel to the mountains, but situated at their periphery, has a distinct morphostructure that shapes out three big units: The Moldavian Subcarpathians, the Bend Subcarpathians and the Getic Subcarpathians. The varied rates of present-day weathering, with significant local and annual differences, call for detailed studies whenever man intends to act upon the landscape. The extraction of raw materials in the Subcarpathians had a negative impact on natural modelling, leading gradually either to a new, man-made landscape, or to some complementary geomorphological processes. The hilly zones where lignite is mined are fragile ecosystems, very vulnerable to environmental changes. Human activity-induced relief degradation has far-reaching and long-term effects on the other components of the environment: water, air, vegetation, soils and settlements.

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